Cancer not only affects the individual with the disease, but its impact can reverberate across the family system. As individuals and families adjust to a diagnosis, one’s roles and responsibilities in the family may change in unexpected ways. Moreover, research suggests that family members sometimes experience greater distress than the individual with cancer. Our research focuses on how individuals and families adjust to a diagnosis of cancer from both a deficit based and strength based approach. Understanding the impact of cancer on families from both approaches can offer important evidence based information for the development of assessment tools and clinical interventions to help families who may be struggling. Publications forthcoming.